Differences Make All the Difference

Too often we look for people who are just like us, thinking we will be happier. This Thanksgiving I realized that when you appreciate the differences between us, each person gains more from life.

I had the pleasure of spending the Thanksgiving Holiday at my house with my mother this year. It was such an enjoyable time that I took a few days off from blogging ūüėČ

I had redone my basement flooring & cleared out a lot of clutter. I had had less, it looked cleaner, but there were lots of little things to sort and put into place.

I don’t like details all that much. I’m way more the “big picture” person. My mom on the other hand is very detailed oriented.

I wanted this basement done & I saw my limits and decided to ask mom for help. We are both very creative people but come at it from a different angle so I thought, let’s try joining forces.  

Sometimes these differences between us drive us crazy, but during the past couple of days I think we both began to appreciate the value that our differences bring to the creative process.

We went downstairs and I shared my vision for the space and my mom was dialed right in, filling in the details. Before you knew it we were bouncing ideas off each other and designing our own masterpiece in my basement.

By the time we were done with this wide open space, we’d managed to create four distinct areas using natural borders.  I got everything I wanted down there; a lounge/reading nook, workout area, office, & music room. I couldn’t be more pleased! !

As much as I’ve always appreciated the qualities my mother and I have in common, that hasn’t always been the case with the differences. This Thanksgiving I began to appreciate those dearly and for that I am grateful.

So the moral of the story is this:
Instead of always looking for people who are just like you, surround yourself instead with people who compliment your strengths and appreciate that. Just watch how your world expands and becomes more beautiful right before your very eyes.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

Gobble gobble from aneternaltraveler ;p

2 Questions to Find Out What You Love to Do

Today at work we had a half-day in preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday. This always throws off my schedule of the kids that I regularly work with. ¬†So, I’m left with figuring out where I can be of service.

It struck me today that when I was given the time and the choice at work go where I wanted to help, I make very different choices than when I’m assigned to be somewhere. ¬†The first thing that came to mind was, who do I enjoy working with? ¬†Then, where could I learn something?

I picked the class I wanted to work in and offered my help.  The teachers were grateful and I got to know some other kids better while learning how to work with different developmental disabilities.  I actually enjoyed myself and the time flew by.

All the way home from work, it got me thinking about how so often we ask ourselves what we really want out of life.  Many times though, the choices we make have nothing to do with what we want at all.  We look instead at where we could make more money or status or at commute time, etc.  Today, by way of having to make a decision about what to do with my time at work, I thought instead about what I actually wanted to do for a change and it brought me real joy.

We’ve all heard the expression, do what you love and the money will follow, but how often do we actually find ourselves opening up to notice what that is? ¬†How often do we believe we don’t even have a choice? ¬†We do what we think others expect of us, we worry, we keep busy, but how close is any of this bringing us to finding out what it is we love to do?

There have been many half-days before.  There was nothing extraordinary about it by itself.  I truly believe that what made today different was the fact that I checked-in with my own needs and wants and I finally asked the right questions for me to find that answer.  Finally, this expression resonated with me and I understood how to manifest it in my life.

When you feel lost or think you don’t have choice or that nothing will ever change, it’s time to check-in with yourself. ¬†

To get yourself started, ask and answer 2 questions when your inner critic flares telling you why you can’t or what you have to do. ¬†

1) Is that really true?

2) What are the alternatives?  

Once you see that it is not true and you do have other options, then you can begin to open yourself up to ask what you really want and actually notice what makes you happy. ¬†Then, as the shampoo bottle says, rinse and repeat ūüôā In other words, KEEP doing it as often as you can.

At some point you’ll notice that your life is filled mostly if not entirely with the work and the people you love and you are well provided for instead of feeling like you are a slave to the needs of others. ¬†Now that’s freedom!

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Leave Room for Surprises

Sometimes I forget to leave room for surprises.  The past couple of days have taught me that even in the worst kinds of situations there are people  who will remind you that your heart can still sprout wings.

Surprise Example 1)

As you may be aware, I don’t feel like my current job is the best fit for me. ¬†I go in each day trying my best to stay positive. ¬†I feel very under appreciated. ¬†I’m bored out of my mind working way beneath my potential despite my best efforts to expand my opportunities. ¬†What’s more, I don’t find many people to connect to. ¬†Most seem to want to know about me for the purposes of finding the latest gossip topic. ¬†So, I don’t share. ¬† It stays at the surface and they fill in the blanks. ¬†I want my connections to be genuine.

Yesterday, I opened up to someone at work who took a heart-felt interest in my time living and working overseas in Ecuador. ¬†As I talked, the passion and excitement poured out of me. ¬†I was speaking entirely from my heart. Then, I had this moment when I “came back to reality” and saw where I was. I felt so far away from this passion in my current reality it almost hurt to talk about it.

When I finished my story she said, “It sounds like you really felt appreciated there.” ¬†I said, Well yes. I guess I did. ¬†I felt like I was really living my life and making a difference. ” She asked me if I’d considered working in an NGO. ¬†I said, “most definitely and I’ve applied for positions at a lot of them. ¬†However, you need to know someone to get in.” ¬†Then she said, “Would you like to talk with my daughter? ¬†She works for (insert huge well known NGO) and she’s helped other people. ” ¬†I nearly cried then I gladly accepted and thanked her when the breath returned to my chest.

Surprise Example 2)

Today, I left my lunch at home.  One of the staff that usually gives me a lot of trouble, found an extra PB&J, some chocolate milk and an apple which she offered to me.   That really warmed my heart twice over; kindness from an unlikely source and food for lunch.

Another staff said she overhead part of yesterday’s conversation about Ecuador and wondered if I’d share more. ¬†It turns out we are very much alike spiritually and in our life views. ¬†Finding people like these are treasures to be cherished.

Surprise Example 3)

One day a few weeks ago at my second job, a colleague and I had an all out fight that was so bad that had to be taken into the office and settled with the manager. ¬†We were clashing in a very bad way and the tension just kept getting worse. We’d tried to settle it before, but it didn’t work. Once in the office this time, each of us just let it rip, gloves off! ¬†It ALL came out. ¬†Then, we had to go out and finish the shift with each other. ¬†So we tried to make the best of it.

The very next shift we worked together, it was as if you couldn’t find two people who enjoyed each others company more. ¬†Some strange unbreakable bond was created. ¬†I knew he had my back and he knew that I had his. ¬†

Today was my last day at my second job. I got hugs and thanks from other staff which was nice, but ironically he was the only one who actually took the time to give me a  card.  It was homemade and filled with simple but thoughtful sentiments.

So, from now on I will do my best to remind myself that I am not alone in my way of being in this world and to stay open to being pleasantly surprised.

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

 

Working Smarter

So I’ve started putting some items up again on Craigslist this weekend.

This summer I created a “4 week clutter challenge” as a part of my desire to minimize the stuff own.

The more stuff you own, the more it really owns you.

The challenge was to clear out as much as I could each week and put it to the curb for a pre-arranged pickup with a local charity. This keeps you committed because you don’t want to waste the charity’s time driving by and seeing nothing. I also challenged myself to sell more valuable items on craigslist.

Long story short I’d managed to clear out about 50 bags and boxes which allowed me to gain alot of perspective in my house. And I made enough money to put towards new flooring to upgrade my basement.

So tonight as I sold another table I didn’t need, I thought to myself wow! I just made more money in 15min from the comfort of my home than I make standing for 5 hrs on my feet at my second job.

The whole point for me was that you get a lot further and end up with a lot more of what you want when you clear out the crap and work smarter instead of harder.

What do you think?

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Quitting Negative Thinking is Like Quitting Smoking

If you’ve been following along, you know that I’ve been working on finding useful ways to transform my life by changing the way that I think. ¬†I really have to concentrate all day on consciously thinking positively, stopping negative thoughts as they enter and rerouting them. ¬†I feel like a traffic cop. ¬†To be honest just doing it for a couple of days has made me feel pretty tired mentally.

Today I woke up and I was feeling good and had some great things happen Рlike my neighbor bringing over the shut-off valve or offering to let me borrow his leaf blower.  As the day wore on I noticed that I was feeling anxious and panicky.  The tension turned into a knot in my neck and eventually a headache.

I couldn’t understand what was happening at first. ¬†I tried everything I could think of; breathing deeply, repeating my affirmations, lying down for a bit, getting active, distracting myself. ¬†Nothing was even taking the edge off and it only made the panic worse. ¬†Meanwhile, I had to head out to the store to exchange some things I’d bought online and so I had to get a move on.

I hopped into my car and said, “Dear universe please help me understand. ¬†I am at a total loss.” ¬†No answer. Ugh. ¬†I started getting mad at myself. ¬†I felt like I didn’t understand. ¬†I spent the whole car ride just trying to breath away the tightness in my chest.

My whole trip was a mess. ¬†The traffic was awful. ¬†The GPS took me to the wrong place (the store had moved and my GPS didn’t have an updated location). ¬†When I arrived, there was construction and people were frustrated in the parking lot looking for a spot. ¬†There was a lot of aggression around me. ¬†I get into the store and head towards customer service and there is a line out to the front door. Inhale, exhale, keep listing things I’m grateful for. Damn it! ¬†Why isn’t this working already!!!???

I finally get my items exchanged and pick up a few more things in the store. ¬†As I’m standing in line, I reach for a drink and this lady behind me pushes her cart flush against the back of mine. ¬†I said, “Mam, could you back up your cart so I can get in here?” ¬†She proceeds to tell me that “I have issues” and then bumps her cart against my bottom. ¬†I grabbed her cart and said, “yes mam I do have issues and one of them is you banging your cart against me. ¬†I need you to stop doing this.” ¬†That’s when she decides to call me “a dumb white bitch with issues who has parents who are fuc*** up like me.” ¬†At this point I turned away and the man behind the check out counter says, “Just let it go. ¬†It’s not worth it. ¬†Don’t let her get to you.” ¬†I take yet another couple hundred deep breaths while the lady continues to insult me without pause.”

Finally, I get out to my car, pop a few ibuprofen and pray that I just make it home safe and sound.

As I’m driving home, the answer to my earlier request comes to me (“dear universe please help me understand”) in the strangest of ways. ¬†“It’s like you felt in the beginning when you quit smoking”. ¬†And it clicked.

I smoked for 15 years and though I knew it wasn’t good for me, I couldn’t find the motivation to quit for all those years. ¬†I tried halfheartedly several times, but I always went back. The longest I quit was a month. ¬†I saw the negative impact it had, but I was also pulled towards the familiar, the comfortable, the cycle of addiction itself. ¬†It was a part of my life for better or for worse.

About 8 months ago, I woke up one day and said I’m done smoking. ¬†I put on the patch, grabbed my nicotine gums and I knew deep inside I wasn’t going back. ¬†I was ready. ¬†It finally hurt enough.

During the first 2 months I went through so many mental, emotional and physically uncomfortable changes, that there were many times that I started to question my choice. ¬†I reminded myself that although – I can’t focus, incessantly think about smoking, my stomach is constantly upset, I’m bloated, I’m getting ulcers in my mouth, can’t sleep, feel constantly irritated, cry out of nowhere, etc. – going back to smoking now just means that someday I’ll have to go through this whole process again. That kept me going. ¬†8 months later, I’m so glad I made the change even though in the beginning I was in hell and I had zero proof that it would be better for me. ¬†In fact, it was much worse!

So when the universe answered me that “this is just like when you quit smoking”, it all made sense. ¬†The “habit” of negative thinking is something that develops over many years. ¬†It becomes so much a part of your life that it is second nature. ¬†What’s more, most of us were raised with the idea that criticizing what someone does will lead to better behavior. ¬†You may get the desired behavior, but you also get a lot of shame and guilt passed on with it and that all comes out somewhere too. ¬†So we grow up and beat the crap out of ourselves and others because that’s what we know how to do.

To change a thinking pattern that’s not only ingrained in your mind, but in the mind of a whole social structure is no small task. ¬†You could say we’re all addicted to a way of thinking and don’t even realize it. ¬†For some people, it becomes uncomfortable enough that they are ready to change. ¬†I felt this when I was finally ready to quit smoking and I feel it now as I work moment to moment to change my thoughts towards the positive end of the spectrum.

Whether it is quitting and addiction, a way of thinking, a bad relationship or whatever else you feel burdening you, there is temptation to slip back all around you. ¬†It takes real effort in the beginning to keep yourself on the new path. ¬†There’s not as much proof for your new way as there is for your old way. ¬†It’s all about having faith in the unknown, in the dark.

Today, I reminded myself that I am human.  I am to be congratulated for the steps I am taking towards creating a better life.  I am not to be criticized for struggling to get there.

Finally, I could take my first deep breath again.

To quote Louise Hay, ”

All is well.

Everything is working out for my highest good.

Out of this situation only good will come.

I am safe.

If you take away nothing else from this post remember this: 

Whenever we exert the effort to change we are working against what we’ve come to know. The mind finds comfort in the familiar. ¬†We are creating new connections in our brains after a lifetime of doing it another way. ¬†Be patient with yourself, be gentle with your heart, and congratulate your beautiful soul for each success no matter how small. ¬†No more shame. ¬†No more guilt. ¬†Throw away the criticism once and for all. ¬†It has never served you well and it never will. ¬†

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Here’s Your Proof!

Awhile back when it was still warm enough to wash my car, I tried to connect my hose to the faucet at the front of my house. ¬†I’d been using the back faucet and dragging the hose around to the front which was a pain.

The problem was that the inside shut off valve was broken off so I had to use a pliers to turn it on.  Every time I did that it leaked down my wall.

Broken Shut Off Valve
Broken Shut Off Valve

So this was a no go.  I am a very handy person, but I have copper pipes and I know nothing about soldering.

My neighbor saw me running in and out of the house like a lunatic trying to see what I could do to fix it.

He said, “there’s no way around it, you have to get a new valve. ¬†So I left it alone thinking aw heck, winter is almost coming and I’ll make due until next year.

Today, I hear a knock at my door as I’m racking my brain thinking of what to write for my latest blog post. ¬†Who’s standing there but my neighbor with a shutoff valve in hand. ¬†He said, “Guess what I found?” ¬†I said, “Looks like a shut off valve to me ;).”

No Soldering Required!!
No Soldering Required!!

“Yes, but you don’t have to solder with this one. It’s new technology. You just have to cut the pipe into a smooth surface, slide each side securely into the hole, and you’re done!” ¬†“I saw it and I thought of you so here you go!”

Then, he said “Oh and by the way, my friend stopped by last week and said he saw you raking your leaves out front. ¬†By the time I came out, you were finished. ¬†I have a blower you can use the next time you want to clean up your yard. ¬†Just let me know.”

I woke up today and practiced my intentions and affirmations just as I explained in yesterday’s post “Just Be Willing”.

I couldn’t help but think about the affirmation where I say that,

I trust that the universe is providing for me everything that I need and I am safe and well taken care of.

I just want to say Thank You ūüôā

I follow another wonderful blog on here that I highly recommend. ¬†It’s called Chrissie’s Take. ¬†Just today, she posted ¬†that perhaps because of her new found positive outlook her family is gathered around her once again. ¬†Read Chrissie’s post here:¬†Grinch No More¬†– a part of her “No Negativity Challenge”.

The proof just keeps showing up for me and for others.  Change your thoughts, change your life.

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Just be Willing

frustration Yesterday I was down for the count with a stomach virus and that gave me a lot of time on my hands I’m not used to having. ¬†As I thought on the changes I’d like to make in my life, I scoured the internet for resources to teach me HOW to get there. ¬†I settled on “You Can Heal Your Life” , by Louise Hay and immediately downloaded it onto my Kindle. ¬†I’m so glad I did.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who feels like their life isn’t working and hasn’t a clue where to start. ¬†I devoured the book in one day and ¬†put it into practice when I woke up this morning.

One of the chapters of her books asks you to write down all the negative things you were told as a child by adults and ¬†compare them to the negative things you say about yourself. ¬†Then look at what’s happening in your life and see if the negative outcomes match the negative thoughts you have about yourself. ¬†By golly, they did! ¬†I was hooked!

The theory here boils down to this Рyou get what you think you should.  So, if you think positively you should see it show up in your life the same way you do when you think negatively.

Just to give you an idea of the negative thoughts that go through my mind, I’ll make a list of my top 10. ¬†Perhaps, you share some of these as well.

You Get What You Think

  1. Nobody is there for me
  2. Nobody respects me or sees my value
  3. Nobody listens to me
  4. Everybody picks on me
  5. I’m never happy in my jobs
  6. I’m bad with people
  7. I don’t know what I want
  8. I’m a failure at life
  9. I never have enough money
  10. I never meet the right guys

Ok, so guess what I have in my life right now with these thoughts? ¬†I have difficulty with people at work, I don’t get respect, I am surrounded by constant conflict, don’t have enough income and I don’t in fact meet guys that feel right for me. ¬†Surprise, surprise!!

expect good things

Change Your Mind

So, today I decided to start to retrain the brain. ¬†I selected a few general affirmations and a few specific ones that spoke to me and repeated them throughout the day. ¬†Here’s what I chose:

General Affirmations

  1. “I approve of myself”
  2. “I am willing to change”
  3. “I am willing to release all my resistance”
  4. “I am willing to release my need for…(ie. approval)
  5. “I now realize that I have created this condition. ¬†I am willing to release the pattern in my consciousness that is responsible for this condition.”
  6. “I trust that the universe is providing for me everything that I need and I am safe and well taken care of.”

Specific Affirmations

  1. “I am willing to release the need to be unworthy. ¬†I am worthy of the very best in life and I now lovingly allow myself to accept it.”
  2. “I am totally open and receptive to a wonderful new position, one that uses all my talents and abilities, and allows me to express creatively in ways that are fulfilling to me. I work with and for people whom I love, and who love and respect me, in a wonderful location and earning good money”
  3. “I am willing to release my need to be noticed”
  4. “I am willing to release my need for praise”
  5. “I choose to let go of my anger, so that I make better clearer decisions.”

Entering a Brand New Day…

As soon as my alarm clock went off I committed myself to saying 5 things I’m grateful for before I could sit up on my bed. ¬†Then, I read the affirmations above before I was allowed to stand. ¬†Finally, I walked to the mirror and read ¬†http://aplacefortheheart.co.uk/louise-hay/louise-hay-affirmations/¬†while looking into my own eyes.

Throughout the day, I reminded myself of those affirmations.  I even brought my index card of affirmations with me in case I forgot.  When a negative thought came in, I said STOP! and replaced it with a gratitude and another affirmation.

One of the great pieces of advice that was offered is that you don’t have to know “HOW” it will happen you just have to be “WILLING”. ¬†Basically, the change in mindset will send a signal to the universe that the expectations have changed. ¬†Be patient and consistent.

It’s Working!

Already today, I noticed MAJOR differences. ¬†First and foremost, I literally had ZERO conflict in my work day at either job. That’s 14 hrs conflict free. I haven’t had a day like that in months. ¬†Even when I got a rude email, I took a deep breath replied kindly, let it go and went on about my day.

I received more smiles, more cooperation, warmer relations and even had an easier time in traffic leaving me with enough time to get some shopping done, order dinner, and get 15 min. in a massage chair all before my next job started.

The point is…it all went smoother. ¬†I was calmer. ¬†I felt like I was in the moment and I enjoyed my day! ¬†This was enough to convince me to carry on using this new method.

I’m looking forward to discovering what I can create by simply changing my own thoughts.

How have you brought about change in your life by a simple shift in focus?

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

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So Why Don’t You Do That Right Now??

Do you ever have a fantasy about what you’d do if you couldn’t take the life you were living anymore? ¬†I do. ¬†My “go-to fantasy” is that I would sell my house and everything in it, walk away debt free and travel endlessly overseas. ¬†Sometimes just having a plan B is enough to keep me going. ¬†That’s all well and good in your head, but what happens when you vocalize it and someone takes it a step further and says, “So why don’t you do that right now?”

Hmmmm….silence while mind is blown!¬†

So I’ve been pondering on this question since it was tossed at me last week.

Here’s what I came up with….

I am staying where I am instead of leaving because I need something from here.  Otherwise, nothing really would stop me.  

Digging deeper, I thought about my life and how I feel like I’ve been running away for a long time in one way or another. ¬†I noticed that there are patterns that keep repeating in my life. ¬†As the expression goes, “No matter where I go, there I am.”¬†

I think it is time to stick around and deal with what’s going on inside. ¬†If I don’t, I’ll just leave this life only to recreate it over again somewhere else. ¬†Do you ever notice how when you move or change jobs hoping it will be better, you basically keep running in to the same types of people? ¬†I think this is because you haven’t changed your beliefs about how life is supposed to be. ¬†So you’re destined to attract the same things into it.

What’s your take?

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Where Will You Put Your Energy?

Some environments are really toxic to be in. ¬†It’s easy to get bogged down. To feel isolated and powerless. ¬†You may find yourself fighting battles constantly. ¬†

As I’ve written in another post,¬†https://aneternaltraveler.wordpress.com/2013/11/20/do-what-you-have-to-do-its-only-temporary/¬†sometimes you have to do what you have to do right now and remember it’s temporary. ¬†

Today we’re going to talk about how you can do it so that you feel like you’re paying dues for a membership you actually want

In my current work situation for whatever reason, I’ve become the target for people’s hatred. ¬†I walk into work and I can guarantee with 100% certainty that I will be told something negative. ¬†I am on a team where instead of them having my back, I have to watch my back.¬†

Now if I wanted to I could go into battle with these people everyday.  I did this for the first month. It sucked. And it sucked because I made the assumption that these people wanted things to be peaceful and harmonious.  I assumed talking to them would lead to greater understanding and better teamwork.

When I finally realized that I was the only one who wanted this and I had pushed myself to exhaustion to try to achieve it, I took a step back to reassess. ¬†It shouldn’t be this hard. ¬†“Why do they seem full of energy while I’m running on empty?” ¬†Well simply put, they put their energy where it worked best for them – keeping things status quo. ¬†I put my energy where it didn’t work best for me – trying to change their status quo.

So here’s the tough part – finding the courage to,

Let go of the way you’ve been doing things AND use your energy to put you where you want to be.

For me this boiled down to two choices – go to battle in the trenches, hand-to-hand-combat-style, every time a challenge is presented or think like the General of my own life and strategize a workaround where I could focus on what will advance me forward.

First and foremost, I will remind myself that my energy belongs to me.  I can choose where to put it.

Moving forward, when someone tries to engage me in a fight, I will not give them my energy by engaging them back. Instead, I will use my energy to think about how to best advance myself.  

A better use of my energy would be to, research positions on the company website that I’d like to hold. Forming a good relationship with my boss so I have his support to get to my destination. ¬†Staying in contact with him as the pettiness comes up to make sure he knows my viewpoint and to ensure we stay on the same page. Finally, stay proactive – present my boss with solutions in the form of positions I’m interested in and qualified for and ask for his advice about moving me into one of them.

If I’m fighting, fighting, fighting in the trenches, I’ll be chronically exhausted. ¬†I know because I’ve been fighting there for awhile now and I’m chronically exhausted. ¬†Pretty simple equation.¬†

Trying to get people who don’t care about you, to care about you, is not only a losing battle,¬†it is a sign that you’re investing more in others opinion of you than you are in yourself and your own well-being.

I’m not willing to do another battle and stay entrenched in the pettiness. I’m going to focus on what will help me move forward and stop treading water in a bad situation.

How have you changed your perspective in a bad situation and come out ahead?

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

 

Do What You Have to Do….It’s Only Temporary

Do What You Have to Do….It’s Only Temporary

If you’ve ever had to do something you’d rather not do just to achieve a goal, this post is for you.

What follows is a recount of some of the things I had to do to get my house back post-divorce. The point of my whole long drawn out explanation and partial life history ūüôā is to ask you to¬†remember two things in this life when you’re losing hope. ¬†¬†

When my business starting bringing in less and less contracts, I knew I had to come to terms with it and move on to something else. It was tough to walk away, but the market was changing and after a good run for 8 years, I saw the writing on the wall. ¬†My husband and I had talked about whether we could make it work on one income while I found an alternative. Everything was set. ¬†Or so I thought….shortly after he asked for a divorce.

He walked away like it was nothing and left behind a long trail of responsibilities for me. ¬†First and foremost was my house. ¬†A house we’d bought only 6 months prior. ¬†It was a huge sum for me to have to find every month and selling it would have offered me no reprieve since it was when the housing bubble burst. ¬†I couldn’t rent something either because I didn’t have a paycheck anymore and it would have cost me almost the same as my mortgage. ¬†Catch 22. ¬†

To add to the stress, our divorce agreement stated that I had one year to refinance it into my name or my ex- could sell it outright. ¬† Originally, he offered 6 months. ¬†I negotiated for more time. ¬†Apparently a year felt generous to him in a failing job and housing market. ¬†Not that he was paying for a darn thing. Apparently, he just didn’t want to be bound to me in any way. ¬†Who was this man?

No time to answer that one, it was time to put the pedal to the metal and get the heck out of dodge.  

I didn’t have a lot of time to wax longingly about my “dream job”. ¬†I needed money and fast! ¬†I sent out application after application and zero, zilch, nada. ¬†Here I was with a B.S. in Biology and an MBA struggling to find work in anything I was qualified for. ¬†I thought the whole world turned upside down, not just my personal life.

I finally turned to craigslist to see if there was an opportunity. ¬†I interviewed and accepted a job doing face-to-face fundraising for charity. ¬†If you’re not familiar with this, it’s basically stopping people as they walk by and trying to persuade them to make monthly donations to assist less fortunate nations of people. ¬†It turned out I was good at this. ¬†Poverty was something I could really talk about. I’d seen and worked with it so much in my travels. I knew how people’s lives were impacted. ¬†Frankly, I was also pretty hungry to pay my bills too so that was a big motivator.

I tried to refinance with this job and about a month out from finalizing, the company I worked for did a “corporate restructuring” and decided to drop their program. ¬†I explained my situation and expressed my frustration to the loan officer on the phone. ¬†I said, “What do I have to do? ¬†Get a job at the bank that holds my mortgage to finally get this settled?” ¬†

The customer service representative took what I said seriously and asked me about my background. ¬†I explained it to him. ¬†He said, would you be interested in becoming a personal banker because you’d be qualified for it? ¬†I said, honestly if it helps me get my house back, I’ll do it. ¬†He told me to put an application online at the bank website and assured me he’d talk to someone in HR on my behalf. We became friends on FB. ¬†I didn’t expect much to come out of it.

Back to the drawing board.

More applications sent out, only the sound of crickets in return. ¬†Hello again, craigslist. ¬†This time, I scored a job that was freelance. They called it a “unique hair opportunity”. ¬†I thought ok. My mom owned a hair salon. ¬†She taught me a lot. ¬†How bad could this mystery job be??? ¬†

Well long story short, I became a trained “Lice Remediation Specialist”. ¬†The company supplied me with everything I needed and I’d get called or texted to go out to a job at someone’s house. ¬†It wasn’t too bad actually. ¬†It helped pay the bills so I was willing to do what I had to do. ¬†I knew that I couldn’t refinance my house with that kind of job though. ¬†So, I cranked up the engine again to find the next step.¬†

I resolved to get that bank job. In no way did working at a bank appeal to me. ¬†But I was running out of time and money. ¬†I reached out to the loan officer and asked him if he’d heard anything about my application. ¬†He got into contact with HR and I went in for an interview. ¬†I got the job. ¬†

I worked a very difficult 6 day/ week schedule. ¬†I didn’t like the work one bit. ¬†I just kept telling myself it’s for your house. Eye on the prize. ¬†I was running out of time. ¬†My ex- was dialing up the pressure with his not so helpful reminders about the 1 year time limit that was coming to a close. ¬†

I put in my refi application. ¬†Then, the communication seemed to drop dead and no one would return my calls. ¬†When I finally reached someone, it was after I received a letter stating that they couldn’t refinance my house because I’d been in the job for less than 1 year. Everything else was fine. Credit score excellent, no major unsecured debt. ¬†None of this was a problem. ¬†I couldn’t believe my ears.¬†

I was furious that my employer didn’t mind having me sell mortgages and investments to other clients, but wouldn’t even back me with one that THEY held!!! ¬†

I had heard that this bank was planning to acquire another bank that I was affiliated with. ¬†I figured while I’m on the inside I’ll do some research. I learned that their criteria were less conservative. ¬†So, I thought, let me see if I can get a loan through them before the acquisition. ¬†Within one month, I got the loan and I was at closing. ¬†The house was FINALLY in my ¬†name and for a payment I could afford!

I quit the bank the month after that. I wanted nothing to do with them. ¬†It was hurtful to me to be put in the position to be used to sell mortgages to others while realizing my employer wouldn’t support refinancing my own home. ¬†

I had had so much stress with jobs and this house refi that I wanted something easier and consistent for a while. ¬†I needed to chill and get my bearings. ¬†So, I heard about this gym that was going to open from a friend in the fitness community I was involved in. ¬†I applied for that and got that job. ¬†I’ve worked there for over a year now. ¬†I knew it couldn’t last forever, but I needed a breather before I moved on. ¬†It’s been good to me and served its purpose.

And now I have yet another new job that has some better benefits than the last one….and on and on it goes….where I stop? ¬†I’ll know it when I feel it.

Remember two things as you go through this life and face challenges:

  1. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

  2. It’s only temporary.

When you feel like you’re going to lose it. ¬†Even when you’re ready to tear your hair out. ¬†When you feel like a failure. ¬†Even when no one else has got your back and you feel as lonely as a child in the wilderness.¬†

Say to yourself over and over again,¬†Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do,__________(insert name).¬†It’s only temporary, _____________(insert name). ¬†

I still have not arrived at a place that I feel completely comfortable in my own life.  And I have to remind myself of this mantra from time to time.  But when I look back I see that despite the fear and confusion and uncertainty, I did carry on.  It took a lot of perseverance and even more patience, but I did reach one of my goals after all. 

Consider making this your daily mantra for all the challenges you face. ¬†And remember, there’s another step ahead of the one you’ve taken. ¬†There will be solid ground beneath your feet. ¬†Just do what you have to do to get through, then take the next step.

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Make no mistake, YOU are a success no matter how big or how small the result. ¬†Let’s help each other out by leaving comments and sharing so we all feel a little less alone in this world.

What kinds of challenges have you had to face where you found yourself doing what YOU had to do to get through?  Share your success stories with us. 

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ